Achieving a work/life balance | Association of Anaesthetists

Achieving a work/life balance

How to manage your time so you can have it all

Your role as an anaesthetist can feel demanding, inflexible and, at times, completely incompatible with a happy home life.

Unlike other jobs where people are encouraged to work from home, or answer emails on the go, or make use of video conferencing, your role as an anaesthetist means face to face patient time. You simply have to be there.

So is it possible to achieve a work/life balance as an anaesthetist or as a trainee? Yes, it is. Here’s how.

Manage your time

As soon as you have your rota, create a calendar and allocate time for family, friends, exercise and personal time. This will stop you coming back from a shift and just crashing.

Develop a strong support network

Schedule monthly get-togethers with close friends and family so there’s always something in the diary to look forward to. And nurture those relationships too. So when there’s an issue at work, you have trusted people in your circle who you can rely on to look after children, do a school run, pick up groceries or make dinner.

Look after yourself

Organising a social life is important. But it’s vital you diarise some personal time too and do something relaxing that you enjoy. Whether that’s catching up with a favourite TV show, reading a book or meditating. Carving out time just for you is the key to achieving balance.

Be present

When you’re at work, it’s critical that you’re focused on the task at hand and your patients’ needs. When you’re at home or with friends or family, focus on their and your own needs instead. Don’t think about work or replay the day’s procedures over and over again. Be present in the moment.

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